8 June 2017
Today, as I served as the Science Operations Working Group Chair, we prepared a 3-sol duration plan to keep Curiosity busy over the weekend. Almost the entirety of the first two sols (1722 and 1723) are dedicated to a SAM analysis of a ‘doggy bagged’ sample from the Quela drill hole collected back in September 2016 (Sol 1464). Several times in the mission we’ve saved samples from our drill locations to analyze later. This SAM analysis will help us determine the precise chemical composition of the martian bedrock and therefore improve our understanding of ancient martian history!
On the third sol of our plan (1724) we planned ChemCam and Mastcam observations of a bedrock target termed ‘Old_Point’ (the flat light-toned rock just below the ripples in the image to the right). ENV also scheduled an early morning science block on Sol 1725 before we begin that sol‘s plan. These morning activities help us understand how atmospheric conditions change at different times of day, for example, how the clouds and dust in the atmosphere vary between morning and afternoon.
Written by Scott Guzewich, Atmospheric Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center